By Noel Spillane
Limerick 2 Cork City 1
Relegation-threatened Limerick made a whirlwind start to lead by two goals inside nine minutes of this Munster derby with champions-elect Cork City before their biggest crowd of the season at the Markets Field tonight.
Stunning goals from Rodrigo Tosi, his 11th of the season and Shane Tracy direct from a free kick had the Shannonsiders in the driving seat before a shell-shocked City got their act together to get a goal back after fifteen minutes when Kieran Sadlier headed in Stephen Dooley’s great cross.
But the result has once again stalled City’s coronation as champions and probably means the Super Blues will stay in the Premier Division next season.
Cork made one change from the side that trounced Longford Town 4-1 in the Cup quarter-finals with fit again Steven Beattie coming into the back four for Conor McCarthy who reverted to the bench along with Alan Bennett, Garry Buckley and Conor McCormack.
Limerick seventh in the table and one win in eight went with an unchanged team from the 1-1 draw with Bray Wanderers last week.
Limerick’s opener on eight minutes stemmed from a defensive howler between Beattie, Williams and McNulty that allowed the alert Tosi in to chip the ball home.
A minute later and it was 2-0 when testimonial man Shane Tracy scored direct from a free kick after Greg Bolger was booked for a foul on ex-City man Chiedozie Ogbene.
City got a goal back making it 2-1 in the 15th minute when Dooley’s excellent cross was headed home by Kieran Sadlier who had missed two good chances in the first half.
LIMERICK (4-1-4-1) B. Clarke; Cotter, Whitehead, O’Connor, Tracy; Hery; Kenny, Duggan (capt), Lynch, Ogbene; Tosi.
Subs. D. Clarke for Cotter (half-time), Crowe for Kenny (79 mins), Berki for Tosi (84 mins), O’Flynn, Brouder, Cameron & Hall (not used)
CORK CITY (4-2-3-1) McNulty; Beattie, Williams, Delaney, Griffin; Bolger (capt), Morrissey; Sadlier, Keohane, Dooley; Sheppard.
Subs. Buckley for Beattie (half-time), Ellis for Bolger (70 mins), Campion for Dooley (89 mins), Bennett, McCormack, McCarthy & Smith (not used)
Referee: Sean Grant (Wexford)
Official attendance: 1,970.
Dundalk won 3-0 in their game against Drogheda United at Oriel Park thanks to a goal from Steven Kinsella just before half-time and two more from David McMillan and Michael Duffy in the second half.
Galway moved out of the relegation positions with a crucial 3-1 victory over Sligo at Eamonn Deacy Park.
They were level with their local rivals at the break, but two goals in five minutes from Kevin Devaney and Gavan Holohan ensured the victory for Galway.
Shamrock Rovers' 4-0 win over Finn Harps sends the Donegal men to second bottom while Bohemians beat third from bottom St Pat's 3-2 in their Dublin derby at Dalymount.
Shamrock Rovers are now four points ahead of Derry in third place after Derry were hammered 5-0 by Bray.